"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger." These are great words to live by. Well, unless you have my legs and they burn like all hell. Our local evening track racing season begins this coming Tuesday, so I figured "I guess I should go down to the track and do a workout at least once before starting racing." What a fool! Sure, just jump on the track bike for the first time since about June and go motorpace and do sprint jumps. Sure sounds like a good idea to me.
See, back in June (I think), I was involved in a major pile-up on the track that took about 11 riders down and sent a few people off in ambulances (including one of the riders from the US National team). Fortunately, I just got dinged up and had to skip riding for a couple weeks. I did break my bike though. I didn't get another bike again until a few months later (thanks Keith) and then I had that accident involving the car (see previous post from March 6th- "Ever feel like you are here to serve as a warning to others?") Needless to say, I didn't immediately get out to the track again for a while... today.
When you are fit and ready, motorpacing hurts. When you are far from your best and so unused to riding a track bike and forget how to spin, it is a tortuous experience. We are lucky to have a group of great riders here in San Diego and they are a pretty good group of people as well. It didn't take long to get back into the rhythm of things, thanks to a little help from friends. It still hurt like hell though. I warmed up well enough and felt ok. Then we did sprint jumps from a slow rolling pace. Seated and standing. I pulled a muscle in my back on the first jump because I put on too big of a gear. Each of the jumps was slightly embarrassing, as I was so far behind my two sprint companions thanks to the incorrect gear selection. Then we started our motorpacing and I was in too small of a gear for that and was spun out early on and forced to gasp for air to send some much needed oxygen to my burning legs. I must have looked a bit like I was going to explode, as I got a few "you ok" queries once back to the infield of the track. Finally, we did 5 lap motorpaced solo efforts. I finally got the gearing right and felt better than I had the entire workout. Unfortunately, we did more than one effort and I was completely cooked after the fourth one and had to limp to the infield to put a smaller gear on to cool down.
Still, all whining aside, I loved it and can't wait for the racing this Tuesday. Track racing is my true love in cycling. This time each year is a lot like waiting for Christmas to arrive as a child. I'll be scared to death and riding like a complete dork for the first few races, but by the end of the night (I hope) I'll feel that familiar "oh yeah, track racing" feeling in the legs. Well, that is of course until they call us to the line for a 60 lap Points Race.